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Getting funding for college

The costs of higher educations are increasing every year, and are going to continue to increase. Tuition at a state school can average $7,000. Private colleges average around $37,000 and some an upwards of $50,000 a year. These hefty bills can add up and it is imperative the both the students and parents to have a financial plan in place.
Scholarships Any student can get a decent scholarship regardless of their, or their parents’ income. Students need to consider scholarships from their hometown, workplace or college. Keep in mind that some scholarships are only available to juniors or seniors, so they might have to patient for the time being. Other scholarships are available to older students and even some states offer grants for laid-off works that are returning to school.
Loans Students that are going to college need to apply for the FAFSA. This application determines the student's eligibility for Federal Student Aid programs such as Stafford Loans, Pell Grants and PLUS Loans. Applicants should always consider federal loans that are available to students and parents. These loans have better interest rates than private loans. Federal loans include repayment terms and the borrowers have the option to have their loans forgiven if they sign up for public service work.
AP and tax credits Students should also take advantage of AP Classes at their high school if available. Gaining AP Credits can help the student graduate faster thus saving a significant amount of time and money. Also, there are various types of tax deductions that students and parents alike might be eligible for. They include the American Opportunity tax credit and the Lifetime Learning tax credit.
529 plan A 529 Plan is an education savings plan operated by an educational institution or state designed to help people set aside money for future college costs. Offered in nearly every state but differs from state to state. There are two types of ways the 529 plans are categorized: Savings plan or Prepaid plans. The savings plan is similar to an IRA or 401K since participants can put their funds into mutual funds or similar investments. A prepaid plan is when the participant is allowed to prepay all or parts of the cost of an in-state college. They can also be converted to use at private or out-of-state colleges.
As long as students and parents do their homework early, getting financial aid for college should be relatively easy. 
This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to:


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